Today we turn to you – the experts – for help and recommendations relating to powdered mineral foundation, as well as face powders to use over regular (liquid or cream) foundation. The topic came up in the comments recently in another post, and several people were interested.
Some of you probably remember my search for a HG foundation, which I found – Make Up For Ever’s Face and Body liquid foundation, which I still love. However, it can be a bit much in summer, and in my humid climate the concept of a mineral powder foundation (with the added benefit of sunscreen) has always appealed to me. My dry skin isn’t so dry in summer, and what’s not to love about powder? But finding the right one and applying it correctly is tricky.
Before we begin, I’m typing it right here – unless you go from your apartment to your underground garage to your office building, or work at night, you shouldn’t be relying on your foundation SPF as your sunscreen. My minimum is an SPF30 for the face, chest and hands (don’t forget those hands! You’ll thank me in 20 years!) Trying to find one that doesn’t break you out, sting, or turn you white is a whole separate topic, but you ought to be wearing one. I have been sun-avoidant most of my life and, while my skin looks good for a 40-something gal, I am already having precancerous lesions removed from my face, arms and back. Consider yourselves warned. Guys – yes, I know you are hot and lovely and probably not wearing foundation, assuming you even read this far. Please wear sunscreen. Don’t forget the tops of your ears and your scalp if you are balding.
Second, according to what I’ve read sunscreen SPF is not cumulative. If you’re wearing an SPF15 sunblock and SPF20 foundation, you are not miraculously at SPF35. Please. Buy some SPF30 or 45 or 70 and wear it. In the long run it is cheaper than biopsies, Mohs surgery and cryogenic removal of suspicious nasties. Hats are also good.
Okay, gruesome sunscreen screed over!!! On to the topic at hand!!
I tried the Laura Mercier mineral powder foundation, which gets very high reviews – if you can find a color that works for you among her relatively limited number of shades. I had them applied by a Mercier SA. The lightest is too white, the second is too pink, the next is too dark. So I think I struck out there.
I’ve tried the Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals twice, once at Nordstrom and once at Sephora. Both times it wasn’t love. I get a pore-magnifying sheen, a matte sheen, if you can believe it, and my face itched. So I’m thinking: no. However, I think BE was first, and many people love them.
Finally, How This Post Came to Be. I was wandering past the Lancome counter looking for something (I’ve already forgotten what) and out of pure boredom picked up a brush, selected one of their lighter, newish (?) Ageless Minerale Foundation powder shades, and slapped it on because I knew it would be sucktastic. Makeup masochism.
It wasn’t. It looked … kind of fabulous, actually. Huh. They have three shades of Ivory (the palest) and three shades of Beige (their next color) so there’s some nuance there for lighter skin tones. Also, I really liked their brush. And they have a great intro set right now with two shades, a brush, and their mineral finishing powder for, I think, $65.
Anyway, I’m struggling with the Lancome shade selection. Their Ivory 20 is a hair too pale indoors, but their Beige 10 (which looks great indoors) is a little sallow on me in bright natural outdoor light, where the Ivory looks right. Also, in my experience as a paleface – pale skin freaks SAs out. They will almost invariably pick a too-dark yellow or beige as the right color for me rather than err in the direction of too light, and what is up with that? Did they not get the pale-skin-is-okay memo? Can I mention my delight at opening various fashion rags these days and finding fewer women airbrushed into a deep tan, replaced by pale women, not all of them Scarlett Johansson?
I’m going to keep trying with the Lancome, because the finish was gorgeous even with my amateurish efforts – smooth, luminous but not shiny, pore-free. Is it ridiculous to consider mixing colors? Also, what’s everybody’s favorite brush? The Lancome was so soft. I spilled a little in the cap, dipped, tapped and swirled, or whatever it’s called, per instructions. But do you have further instructions?
Also, how do you feel about the mineral setting powders on top? In general, not just for mineral powder makeup? I’d like to set my MUFE liquid foundation, for instance. Over several hours MUFE can get really shiny, although it doesn’t go anywhere. But I’ve decided the Bobbi Brown pale yellow powder is too yellow on me. I know, it’s heresy, no white powder blah blah blah but there you have it. How do you feel about the Laura Mercier translucent setting powder? How about her specific setting technique (pressing with a velour puff rather than a brush)?
Has anyone tried the new Clinique anti-yellow powder? Can that be used as a finishing powder, or should that go on the bare face?
Anything else I should try? Does anyone actually powder over their mineral powder foundation, or only over liquid? I just did it once testing the Lancome (powdered one side of my face) and it was beautifully milled but I didn’t notice any difference in terms of longevity or shine.
Your turn. Thoughts on mineral powder makeup, technique, and finishing powders (plus brush vs. puff) on top of liquid foundation, or anything else you think I should know or want to ask about.
image – I found this in my saved images, I think it’s an Armani ad. I generally find David Beckham a little scrawny but he certainly looks large in this photo. The first thing I thought of upon viewing it was, I wonder which suncreen he uses? Cheers!